Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Department of Mechanical Engineering
6.050J/2.110J – Information, Entropy and Computation – Spring 2015

General Information

This page provides miscellaneous information about MIT subject 6.050J / 2.110J Information, Entropy and Computation, offered in Spring 2015. This subject is designed for MIT freshmen. Academic credit of 9 units (less than that given by a typical MIT subject) is provided.

Eleventh Offering

Spring 2015 is the eleventh offering of this subject. It was offered in Spring 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, and 2014, and, before then, three times while being developed, under another number, in Spring 2000, 2001, and 2002.

This subject is offered jointly by the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Students may sign up for either 2.110J or 6.050J.


Classes:     Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:00–2:30 pm, Room 3-442
Mid-term Quiz: At the scheduled class meeting, Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Final Exam: To be scheduled, during the Final Examination week, May 18–28, 2015
Course Office: Room 38-344, MIT,  617-253-9328,  617-253-9386 [Fax]
    Office Hours: to be determined

Please note that the Spring 2015 course Web site is a major source of information. It contains class notes, corrections, and other material. However, other material, not posted on the Web site, may be distributed in class. It is the responsibility of all students to attend all classes, and also check the Web site from time to time.


Problem sets are not distributed. Instead, homework problems are described and assigned in class. In some cases, solutions may be posted after the problems are due. Late submissions do not receive any credit.


6.050J / 2.110J is a nine-unit subject. It is intended that the overall work required be approximately nine hours per week, including four hours of lecture and recitation. Any students who find themselves spending substantially more than nine hours any week should question whether they are stuck and might make more rapid progress if they asked the instructing staff for some hints or got advice from fellow students. In particular, students should avoid spending nonproductive time on the computer, for example surfing the Web aimlessly.

Because this is an elective subject, tutoring help may not be available from established resources at MIT. Course material from Spring 2003, Spring 2004, Spring 2005, Spring 2006, Spring 2007, Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2013, and Spring 2014 is available. Some material is also available through MIT OpenCourseWare.


Weak collaboration is permitted on problem sets. In this context the term “weak collaboration” means that two or more students may discuss the problems and their ways of approaching them, but each student must fully work out the problem and present only his or her own solution. Advice can be given and received, but no part of the solution can be copied from another, nor can identical portions appear in the submissions of two or more students. Any weak collaboration must be fully disclosed as part of the problem solution, for example by a phrase like “Alice Alison and Bob Robertson collaborated in part (b) by discussions of general approach.” Since weak collaboration involves discussions among two or more people, all must include compatible statements.

Help from people not taking this course is also permitted, provided that it is fully disclosed, and that the solution submitted was written in the the privacy of the submitter’s own mind and body.

Strong collaboration is not permitted on problem sets. In this context the term “strong collaboration” is any collaboration in which work done by others is incorporated, with or without disclosure. Strong collaboration is normal and desirable in the work environment, where the principal purpose is to accomplish, as a team, some objective. In an academic setting, however, the purpose is to facilitate learning by individual students, and strong collaboration does not support that goal.

It is, of course, a serious academic offense for a student to present another’s work as his or her own. It is also an offense to fail to report collaboration in accordance with course policy. Such offenses will be treated seriously.


The catalog description states that a prerequisite for 6.050J / 2.110J is one of the versions of Physics I. This prerequisite is enforced. To qualify, a student must have received credit for 8.01 either through advanced standing or by receiving a passing grade in 8.01, 8.011, 8.012, 8.01L, CC.801, CC.8012, ES.801, or ES.8012.


Grades will be based on participation in class (15%), problem set solutions (20%), mid-term quiz (20%), final examination (30%), and subjective judgment of the instructing staff (15%). Assignment of grades is not an exact science; these percentages should be regarded as approximate.

Updated Nov 20, 2014 | 6.050J/2.110J home page | Spring 2015 | Search | Comments and inquiries Click here for information on MIT Accessibility